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if there is pain
there is hope
but if you are numb
you'll never know
if you can cry
please do
if you want to cry
please do


-
by Aleksander Mielnikow | Alek the Poet
The poem has nothing to do with Yemen, but to update you on that, the situation in Yemen is getting much worse, which is odd and unfortunate to say considering what the situation is already.

A ceasefire between various forces, which began because of the outbreak of Covid-19, has ended, and with its conclusion the country has erupted into violent clashes.

The Houthi rebels are reportedly hiding the severity of the Coronavirus outbreak among their territories, making it more difficult to aid.

And UNICEF is reporting that its $479 million appeal for Yemen is less than 40% funded, and unless it receives $30 million by the end of June, operations concerning WASH - Water, Sanitation, And Hygiene - will have to shut down. "This means UNICEF will not be able to provide fuel to operate water pumping stations, or de-sludge sewage, or maintain crumbling water and sanitation infrastructure", Marixie Mercado, spokesperson for the agency. "It means we will not be able to distribute basic family hygiene kits that include soap, which is so critical for preventing both cholera and COVID in a context where millions don't have access to hand-washing facilities."
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How can you help? Assimilate, donate, and spread awareness, or ADaSA.

If you go to my Instagram account, @alekthepoet , in my bio there's a link to a Linktree, and the first two boxes will provide you with information on what is going on. The first link will take you to a report by Human Rights Watch, and it details the travesties that make up the crisis. The second link will take you to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations, which goes into detail on the political and military side of what is happening and why.

The other boxes provide multiple reputable organizations that you can donate to, or aid in other ways. As you can tell from the information above, those trying to provide aid need money and resources, and they need them soon, so if there is anything you can donate, or you can ask someone else to donate, please do.

Finally, letting others know lets them do the above. Whether that's just bringing it up in conversations, reposting on various social media sites, or sending the information in a large newsletter, it will all help if you direct them to learn and donate.
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Am I doing anything else besides the above?

Yes. I will contact various people in the US Congress to get something going there, both in offering more aid and stopping the supplies of weaponry to the Saudi Arabia military. I know it sounds vague to say "get something going", but it's more complex than that and I promise there's more to it and that there's a reason for my vagueness.

I am also putting together a fundraiser, of which the proceeds will go to the organizations above and will include shirts, stickers, and a catchy slogan that can help us in raising awareness. I'm in the logistics phase, so bear with me, and in the meantime donate to the organizations directly because they desperately need it now.

But I hope to have it up and running soon.
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Hopefully the above info helped. And I hope you enjoyed the poem, which is still what I do, though less these days.
A mother sits on the edge
of a hospital bed with her
baby daughter lying on her lap.

The air throughout the hospital
is suffocating, stifling with the
stench of filth and death.

The walls amplify and echo the
anguish of women and children,
and jets fly somewhere overhead.

But she tries to sing a lullaby
through her parched throat
beneath her grubby niqāb. The skin
and bones that make her frame
cannot sway the child for comfort.

She cannot feed her; even if her
******* could provide sustenance,
the child’s sickness would puke it
back up. She craves to cry for God
to spare her little one, but her
bloodshot, sunken eyes no longer
produce tears. All she can offer is
her lullaby, the same one she sang
to all her children. All that remains
of them and their father are fragments,
scattered throughout dirt and debris,
blown to bits a week ago by a blast
in her village. When the only one left
became sick, she started the trek to
the nearest hospital. The journey
greeted her with dust and unbearable
heat, with the agony of an empty
stomach, with a child in misery and
excreting white diarrhea. And when
she finally reached the hospital, the
doctors could not provide treatment.

The disease had progressed too far,
and they did not have the means to
save her daughter. So she sits on a
hospice bed, surrounded by other
sickly and starving bodies, singing a
lullaby. Soon the child closes her eyes
and stops breathing, a thick white
drool leaking down her cheek. Her
mother wipes it away.


-
by Aleksander Mielnikow (Alek the Poet)
This poem depicts a bit of the horrific circumstances that are taking place regularly in Yemen. According to the UN, Yemen is suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 80% of its citizens requiring humanitarian aid. And it is only getting worse.

The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, backed by rich allies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, is committing war crimes. They are targeting innocent civilians with missiles (including some that many countries have banned the use of), and though this includes destroying hospitals and schools, it also includes peaceful villages and the encampments of 3 million displaced persons, unrelated to the Civil War that is being waged. They are targeting infrastructure (for example, gas stations and bridges) that make basic functioning arduous, if not impossible. And they are using a blockade to deny the passage of food and aid into the country. This blockade has perpetuated one of the worst cholera outbreaks ever (which is the “illness” the baby in this poem has). And it has left 20 million people facing food insecurity, with half of them being acutely food insecure. (Some are comparing this deliberate military tactic of famine to The Holodomor, the Ukranian Genocide of 1932-33).

And on top of facing starvation, succumbing to disease, or getting blown to pieces, they are also facing Covid-19 drastically limited resource, which is spreading at an alarming rate.

I titled this poem Forgotten because multiple sources that I’ve read about this crisis point out how the situation in Yemen is being largely ignored. And this ignorance will lead to the unfortunate end of millions of innocent people.

I don’t want that to happen.

In order for us to aid the Yemeni people, the conflict that is occurring needs to end. This can happen a number of ways. I will focus my part in what I can do to get the US Government (where I live) to stop supplying arms to the Saudi-led intervention. I have little influence in the political sphere, and if there’s anyone reading this who could throw a more powerful swing at it, please do. But I will let my readers know if there’s anything they can help me with, such as signing a letter/petition.

But we cannot rely on the conflict resolving when it is such a complex situation with interweaving influences and leaders who are committing or are complicit in atrocities. As such, the other thing we need to do is offer as much aid as we can. In the bio of my Instagram account, @alekthepoet,  there’s a link to multiple non-profits trying to help, and each link takes you to a page that offers more information on Yemen’s situation. Please donate what you can. I cannot offer much, and yet I scrounged up some money and will donate what I can as well (I am donating to Save The Children). Each website also offers more ways in which you can help, so if you have the time please look into that and see if there’s more you can do.

Please do what you can to help the Yemen people. They don’t deserve to be forgotten by us. Please share this information and post to make sure it doesn’t happen.
I miss the trip we took.

We didn’t mind feeling lost while we drove
through the forest, and we sang aloud
the entire way until we arrived at the
site. We pitched the tent, and then spent
the afternoon eating s’mores smothered
in whipped cream, sharing ghost
stories, and watching the lake’s current
come in and out. And when it came time
to hide away, we huddled into my red
sleeping bag, chatting about whatever
came to mind. That’s what I miss the most,
laying with you, discovering how your
mind moves. Or how mentioning we
smelled like s’mores made you go from
a giggle into a hearty laugh.

Then a lengthy gaze turned to a yearning
silence. I miss you running your warm palm
down my chest. Flesh on flesh became our
flesh, breath on breath became our breath.
By the time you fell asleep you had engulfed
me into your small, dying flame, and
embraced me into the furthest depths you
would ever let anyone reach. I remember
wishing it would never end.

But I also remember lying there, still awake,
my body almost shaking from all that was
surging through my nerves and veins,
feeling more nervous than satisfied. And
soon, once the weeks of bliss had gone by,
you realized I was letting you down. You
didn’t seem distraught, or rejected;
you were disappointed.

Now, I will not chastise myself for having
old wounds still healing. I will not be
ashamed for still having armor, for having
to try to surrender, for regarding the body
and heart of the person you fell for with
disgust. But I don’t want to indulge in my
progress or lack thereof, because for you
it’s true, I let you down. You saw me
covered, and you saw me ****, but you
never saw me naked, exposed, vulnerable
and raw. I wouldn’t let you.

And I’m certain for you it was like expecting
a call that won’t come. And when the phone
finally rings you are not there to answer.
You gave up long ago. And I’m still
not even willing to call.
She’s trying to fly with
crippled wings and join
her dreams together with
guitar strings and when
she sings she sings her
songs of how she tries
to get along with the long
harsh road she’s been
wandering on as she tries
to fly with crippled wings
and join her dreams together
with guitar strings

-
by Aleksander Mielnikow
I was inspired to write this poem after "This Town Is Killing Me" by Caitlyn Smith kept replaying in my head. Make sure to check it out!

And if you liked this piece, check out my profile for older works, and follow me so you don't miss out on any new ones.
are you coming
better days
?
better days
better days
are you coming
better days
are you coming
?

lick the sky
say goodbye
and be proud
of yourself
that you even tried

are you coming
better days
?
better days
better days
are you coming
better days
?
I am waiting

-
by Aleksander Mielnikow | Alek the Poet
Downtown’s sodium orange
penetrates the snow fog around us,
and the xenon sign outside this club
stains your teeth an electric blue.

There are bloodshot eyes behind puffs
of smoke as you **** on a cigarette.

Our feet ***** the salt and butts
under the slush as snow coats our
coats and your short, curly hair.

Your lips lap the tip for mere seconds
at a time, never leaving your lungs
full for long. I watch your chest rise
and fall with each burning breath
and imagine that coat curling away
and falling like ash. But I don’t smoke
and loathe the smell that lingers
betwixt my fingers.


-
by Aleksander Mielnikow | Alek the Poet
Did you know most streetlights are high pressured sodium lamps?

And yes, even with all my self-destructive behavior like binge eating, physical self-injury/self-harm, and several suicide attempts, I don't actually smoke. I tried a bit, and though I never minded the taste or smell in my mouth, I could never stand the smell it left on my fingers. So no more, except for the countless times I'm with friends in smoking areas inhaling 2nd hand.

I've mostly stopped drinking too ("mostly" because I'm still willing to sip to test taste), but that's a whole other story to turn into a lust filled poem 😄

If you liked this piece, check out my profile for older works.
We finish digging our graves, dug
to what we consider three feet, but
we don’t worry about measurements.

These deaths are negligible.

Coated in dirt and sweat and heaving,
we gaze at each other. We both nod,
toss our shovels aside and walk over
to our bodies. He grabs his by the wrist
and drags it across the grass. I hoist
mine into my arms and shuffle over.

They’re both dumped into the graves,
and we fill both the holes. He walks to
his car without hesitation. I pause a
moment to glare at my grave, but I don’t
offer a eulogy or prayer, only standing
there in silence. I catch up to him, throw
my shovel in the trunk, and we drive off.

He drops me at my home, and I go inside
to find my wife watching TV. My wife? I
blink, trying to focus. Yes, she is my wife.
She says “Hey honey”, and I respond with
a low “Hey”, but she doesn’t look over,
does not notice the mess. I ***** up the
stairs, counting the steps, and start a shower.

As the water warms, the mirror reveals
someone familiar. No, not familiar, this is
me. I get under the warm stream, letting it
clean away what is left of me.

-
by Aleksander Mielnikow | Alek the Poet
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